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Written by David L. Hudson Jr., published on January 1, 2009 , last updated on May 6, 2024

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The First Amendment Project is an Oakland, California–based nonprofit public interest law firm that advocates on behalf of free expression values.

Founded in 1992, the organization litigates on a variety of First Amendment issues, including SLAPP suits, art censorship, open records, and Internet speech restrictions.

First Amendment Project has achieved First Amendment free expression victories

The First Amendment Project has achieved many free expression victories through filing lawsuits and amicus briefs in important First Amendment cases.

For example, the First Amendment Project successfully challenged in Brown v. California Department of Transportation (9th Cir. 2003) a California policy that restricted the display of flags over highways shortly after the al-Qaida attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

It filed amicus briefs in In re George T. (2004), in which the California Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected a student from criminal charges for writing dark poetry, and in American Amusement Machine Association v. Kendrick (7th Cir. 2001), in which the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated an Indianapolis ordinance restricting minors’ access to violent video games.

Despite its small staff, the First Amendment Project continues to fight vigorously on behalf of free expression values. It is led by senior counsel and founder James Wheaton and executive director David Greene.

David L. Hudson, Jr. is a law professor at Belmont who publishes widely on First Amendment topics.  He is the author of a 12-lecture audio course on the First Amendment entitled Freedom of Speech: Understanding the First Amendment (Now You Know Media, 2018).  He also is the author of many First Amendment books, including The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech (Thomson Reuters, 2012) and Freedom of Speech: Documents Decoded (ABC-CLIO, 2017). This article was originally published in 2009.​

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